There is a new film about the come out. The Miracle on the Hudson, starring Tom Hanks. I have not seen the film but as a die hard Tom Hanks fan, I am sure it will be great. The film details the true events of 16th Jan 2009 when US Airlines flight ditched into the Hudson river in New York. Fortunately all 155 passengers and crew made their way to safety. But for Twitter, it cemented them as a breaking news platform. Something that at that point in time Twitter were not really known for.
Within minutes of US Airways flight 1549 ditching in New York’s Hudson river, the blogosphere was buzzing with the news. Emails, Twitter messages, mobile phone photos and hazy videos about the crash flitted across cyberspace. Some reassured friends and loved ones that all was well; others simply documented the unfolding drama as all 155 passengers and crew made their way to safety using the jet’s inflatable emergency chutes.
Twitter, the increasingly popular microblogging service, was, as ever, leading the pack. When dozens of New York-based Twitter users started sending ‘tweets’ about a possible plane crash in the city, the news spread like wildfire across the Twitterverse. Indeed, Twitter users broke the news of the incident around 15 minutes before the mainstream media alerted viewers and readers to the crash. The first recorded tweet about the crash came from Jim Hanrahan, aka @highfours, four minutes after the plane went down, who wrote: “I just watched a plane crash into the hudson riv [sic] in manhattan”. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/twitter/4269765/New-York-plane-crash-Twitter-breaks-the-news-again.html
Within seconds of the plane ditching into the Hudson River in New York, Jim Hanrahan had tweeted this:
I just watched a plane crash into the hudson rive in manhattan
— Jim Hanrahan (@highfours) January 15, 2009
Then shortly afterwards Janice Krums @jkrums took the famous photo attached and also tweeted:
http://twitpic.com/135xa – There’s a plane in the Hudson. I’m on the ferry going to pick up the people. Crazy.
— Janis Krums (@jkrums) January 15, 2009
All of the Twitter activity was approx 15 mins ahead of any of the regular news networks. That’s what made this so different. People journalism had been born, the ability for regular men and women to witness events and then to share them via Twitter had arrived. This was a huge moment for Twitter.
From then on, Twitter has been at the forefront of breaking new stories. It has allowed people to share a real time running commentary of what is happening and those images and now live streams are tweeted and shared around the globe in seconds.